British MP Reviews Batman Origins

Tom Watson claims games are good for the brain

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A British MP with the dev team behind Beatles Rockband
A British MP with the dev team behind Beatles Rockband
Everybody in the UK who loves games and hates Rupert Murdoch has a warm patch for the Labour Member of Parliament Tom Watson. He's sort of the ant-Keith Vaz in that he adores young folk stuff from bands to video games.

The UK also has a left-leaning magazine that used to be quite successful and political, it's called The New Statesman. Tom Watson has reviewed Batman Arkham Origins in it. This is cute and vaguely reminiscent of when Tony Blair cosied up to Oasis and Blur, or Harold Wilson played nice with The Beatles. His NS piece is called, "Batman: Arkham Origins and why video games are good for the brain"

In it he says, "We video-game lovers of a certain age belong to an emerging industry demographic: the grumpy gamer. Like Frank Underwood, the political schemer played by Kevin Spacey in the US version of House of Cards, grumpy gamers play in snatched moments of privacy in the short breaks of busy, stressful lives.

"We buy consoles for our children, in part to recreate our teenage years, the good old days when we had to transcribe computer code from the pages of magazines before the satisfaction of a marathon all-nighter with a Sinclair ZX Spectrum."

He likes the game but then claims, "Scientists in Germany have recently claimed that playing video games augments grey matter in the sections of the brain used for spatial navigation, strategic planning and working memory. On reading this erudite study, my immediate thought was, in an Alan Partridge voice, take down for Mr Keith Vaz. Video games are good for the brain. Gamers win; Daily Mail lose."

All good, unsourced stuff.

But he points out that, "Cognitive science may be rebalancing the argument in favour of video games being good for humanity but Iím afraid Batman: Arkham Origins is not. The stimulated grey matter that results from the latest offering by Warner Bros only applies to those sections of the brain usually associated with frustration, intolerance and, well, grumpiness."

Read our review here... we're nipping off to represent our voters.


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